House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday said Republicans had created “one of the most closed, corrupt Congresses in history” and urged the House ethics committee to investigate GOP lawmakers linked to lobbyist Jack Abramoff. “It’s hard for the American people to understand how corrupt it is here,” the California Democrat said at a news conference. In a letter to House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., Pelosi said Democrats expect the ethics committee to look into the “alleged violations of criminal laws and the rules of the House” by former Majority Leader Tom Delay, R-Texas, and three other Republicans with ties to Abramoff – Bob Ney of Ohio and Californians Richard Pombo and John Doolittle. Abramoff has pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy, tax evasion and mail fraud charges for his influence-peddling activities, but so far no member of Congress has been indicted. Pelosi’s letter did not ask the ethics committee to investigate an unrelated case involving Democratic Rep. William Jefferson of Louisiana. A former aide to Jefferson, in pleading guilty to aiding and abetting bribery of a public official, said Jefferson had demanded bribes for promoting business opportunities in Africa, according to court documents filed Wednesday. Pelosi didn’t comment on the Jefferson case, but stressed that “we have said all along that, Democrat or Republican, anyone who doesn’t follow the rules or the law has to be held accountable. That’s the difference between us.” Hastert’s spokesman, Ron Bonjean, said it was “hypocritical for Leader Pelosi to throw mud” when a fundraising committee run by the Democratic leader had been fined last year for improperly accepting donations over federal limits. He said Republicans hope Pelosi “will stop playing politics and will support our comprehensive lobbying effort that will help change the way work is done in Washington.” Pombo said Pelosi “has stooped to the level of Joe McCarthy” by seeking the investigation. “The fact remains that I have never engaged in any illegal or unethical conduct in my 13-plus years of service in Congress. Any assertion to the contrary is entirely false,” Pombo said. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!